Foodgrains Bank executive director [Jim Cornelius] recalled the early vision of the MCC Food Bank, explaining how CFGB still embraces that vision. "First, they wanted to establish a food bank that would directly involve food producers," he said. "Since then, over 350,000 tonnes of food have been donated by food producers in Canada."A funding partnership with the federal government has been in existence for many years through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Bev Oda, federal minister of International Cooperation, wrote in her congratulatory letter, "CIDA has been proud to rank the CFGB amongst its humanitarian and development partners.... By 2008, the CFGB has risen to the status of CIDAs key Canadian food aid partner, receiving grant funding of $25 million per year.""Putting the interests of the recipients first, the CFGB was also instrumental in convincing the Canadian government to 'untie' food aid, ending the requirement that a certain portion of aid shipments be purchased in Canada," wrote John Morriss, editorial director for the Manitoba Cooperator, praising the Foodgrains Bank for turning donations of Canadian grain into cash, which is then often used to buy grain from local markets to meet local needs.